Strangers in Cross: Jan. 16, ‘38

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I was too late.

We tracked a pair of the creatures to the Windsor Farm to the west of town. Fred and Margaret Windsor were active in Cross’ Congregationalist Church. On more than one night during the week, you could find at least a handful of churchgoers at the Windsor residence, planning out dinners and trying to quietly reach out to those who might need a helping hand.

With the ravens perched in the trees around the farm, I entered the main house.

The Windsors and their company had been butchered.

They’d been flayed, their hides tacked to the walls, and the heads, fifteen of them, were stacked in a bloody, grinning pyramid in the center of the living room.

Throughout the house, I found piles of body parts. Hands in an armoire, feet in the commode. Genitals were piled high on the Windsors’ bed. Entrails were in looped in great coils from the banister’s newel post to the second floor and back again. In the root cellar, I found nearly all the remaining bones, and even those had been sorted.

All save the finger bones, that is.

Those were in the parlor and in front of the fireplace, where the ashes were cold and gray, I saw my name spelled out, over and over again.

I suspect it was meant to frighten me, to instill some sense of fear. The message I was to take away from it was simple enough.

Leave them alone and let them eat.

It was the same message they had tried to pass along through the learned fools at Miskatonic.

Well, if violence is their language, it was time I showed them that I spoke it too.

And I was a hell of a lot more fluent in it than they were.  

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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